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NOW With Alex Wagner

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

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Susan Rice 12, Mitch Mcconnell 8, Pennsylvania 6, John Kerry 6, Boehner 6, Us 5, New York 5, John Boehner 5, Phillips 5, Washington 4, Chuck Hagel 4, Jonathan Chait 4, Msnbc 3, Warfarin 3, Benghazi 3, Cia 3, Nancy Pelosi 3, Mcconnell 3, America 3, Andrea Mitchell 3,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    November 14, 2012
    9:00 - 9:59am PST  

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e-mail chains and musical chairs, it is wednesday, november 14th, and this is "now." joining me today for the one-year anniversary of this television program, msnbc political analyst and national affairs editor for new york magazine, emmy darling john heilemann, former pennsylvania governor and current governor of "now," governor ed rendell. msnbc contributor and queen bee of the grio.com joy reid and editor of the new york tiles sunday magazine, mr. sunday morning himself hugo lindhgren. call it the november surprise. in 90 minutes, president obama will hold his first press conference since re-election and he will be holding it amid circumstances no one could have predicted. just one week after america gave him a second term, at a time of high stakes negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff, the president will likely face
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questions about a salacious sex scandal involving the now former cia director. >> does the president see this in general as an unwelcomed distraction at a time when he's just -- was re-elected and has a bunch of priorities in terms of the fiscal cliff and in terms of his cabinet? >> well, i certainly i think wouldn't call it welcome. obviously the, as i said to ben, the information about general petraeus came to him as a surprise. >> not exactly welcome is perhaps an understatement. the resignation of general david petraeus as cia director hangs another question mark over america's intelligence community and foreign pollicy leadership. with petraeus out he could tap john owe brennan to take over at the cia. secretary of state hillary clinton has insisted she will serve one term only, vacating her post come january. the white house is leaning towards u.s. ambassador to the
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united nations, susan rice to replace clinton at foggy bottom. rice's confirmation is far from assured giving the questions surrounding her handling of the attacks in benghazi. defense secretary leon panetta made it clear he is ready for retirement. senator john kerry, eyeing the secretary of state position may be asked to replace panetta. adding to the stakes of musical chairs, general allen's confirmation hearing to lead nato has been put on hold. during the campaign president obama called for nation building at home in his second term. he'll need to start by rebuilding his own team. john heilemann, you were a guest on the very first program of this show, there is a lot happening inside the president's inner leadership circle. how much of a problem do you think this is for him? >> first of all, let's not -- let's terry for a moment on -- i
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have been doing some math, 8,760, that's the number for today, 8,760 hours. >> wow. >> since alex wagner took over that chair and ever since -- >> subjected america to this program. >> and ever since then, root beer has flowed from the water fountains here at 30 rock and there has not been a cloudy day. >> and recess has been extended by 15 minutes. you're welcome america and 30 rocks. >> all lollipops and sunshine. congratulation on 8,760 hours in that seat and good luck on the next 8,760 hours. >> that is very generous. >> the president does -- nobody likes -- it's -- this is -- if there's going to be instability on your team, right, whether foreign or domestic policy this is the time for it. this is the time for transitions, where there's going to be at lot of turnover anyway. hillary clinton was leaving, leon panetta was leaving. do you want to deal with an additional moving part in petraeus and these circumstances?
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obviously not. but if there's going to be a time when things are going to be in chaos and you're going to have to be making decisions an moving ease pieces around the chess board it's the optimal time for it to happen. never a good time for this kind of scandal clearly, but if you would rather have had it now than five months from now or have it five months before now and it gives him a lot of flexibility in terms of how to fill those spots. there are a lot of players, we mentioned some of them just now, you did in the opening, a guy like chuck hagel, the president has trids to have a significant republican at a top position in his cabinet, before bob gates in the pentagon for the better part of the first term. i think he wants to do that again. his instinct towards not necessarily to hagel, although i think he is under consideration for one of the jobs, but it's a good time for the reboot and i think we're going to see that happen. >> it's a complicated reboot, right? we knew that clinton was leaving, geithner wants to go,
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we heard panetta, those were gives. as tom friedman says -- the whole middle east erupts in one giant sound and light show of civil wars, states collapsing and refugee dislocations as the keystone of the region syria gets pulled under and the disorder across the neighborhood and you were worried about the fiscal cliff. >> governor? >> i think john is right about the personnel changes. this is the time. every administration goes through it. if you're re-elected you're going to have this turnover and this is the best time for it. we didn't want it before the election. john is right you don't want it five months down the road when your second term is under way. i want to terry a bit too, if it's all right to borrow from
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john. >> former governors of pennsylvania still have the right to issue proclamations. >> even in new york state, i don't think so. >> for pennsylvania in pennsylvania. >> a state unto itself. he issues proclamations all day long. >> i'm calling governor cuomo. >> you have a lot of loyal watchers and so i've declared this alex wagner and "now" down in the commonwealth of pennsylvania. >> what? >> the proclamation which you will be getting later. >> oh, my goodness. >> we can't top that. >> my last proclamation i proclaimed an insect bug museum day in pennsylvania. >> certainly one of the biggest proclamations to come out. >> this is bigger than that. >> insect bug museum. >> the insect museum and now this. >> absolutely. >> thank you, governor. nobody really wants to talk about this, but let's continue on. let's continue forward. >> are you going to terry? >> i have no proclamations.
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>> oh, lord. >> i have none. what i can say is i do love the show. it has become required reading. >> thank you. >> for good reason. >> i'm beginning to blush. >> we love you. i have no -- at this desk. >> i found it interesting that susan rice has become the favorite punching bag since the republican party is rebooting pinata of the republican party. you know, it's interesting that they focused sort of all of this criticism on her which would make a confirmation hearing for her epic and probably horrible for her. it will be interesting to see if the white house decides to take that fight anyway. i think that the benghazi tragedy is being politicized. my view is this was a tragedy that no one could have foreseen necessarily. you can argue that the security should have been better, the cia could have done a better job of securing that compound. that the reaction could have been swifters, mopped up the evidence found by cnn and others quicker and there were mistakes made, but i fear that the
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republican party sees a potential here for a major -- >> clearly. >> emphasizing a scandal they can take. >> hugo, this what is senator mccain had to say about susan rice and becoming secretary of state. >> shaesz not qualified. in defiance of the facts fivedation lafive days later. if this committee clears her of any wrong doing besides being very bright because this was not a flash mob. you better make sure it's true. >> a litany of criticisms from mccain. we know marco rubio is calling on secretary clinton to testify on benghazi and now hearing that general petraeus is going to be testifying before the senate intelligence committee. >> overly harsh, wrong doing. hard for me to imagine susan rice went on national television and took her own analysis of events independent of what other people were talking a about in
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the administration and threw it out there based entirely on her own credibility. there's obviously a lot of heat being directed at her unfairly. >> isn't that -- >> i would like to make a -- i hate to return to tom friedman's international nightmare scenario but it's true while this is a good sort of national political or washington culture moment for these kinds of like uncertainty and stability in the team, in terms of the world it's not a good time at all. it will be an important test for the white house not to get distracted by this kind of lurid scand toll make some good decisions to, you know, back down the republican opposition on rice if that's where they're going to go on secretary of state. it actually is a pretty important first test and it is a lot more significant than the fiscal cliff stuff because, there's a lot more control that the white house has here but they've got to use it and act powerfully and swiftly. >> that's a question, how hard they're going to fight for susan rice. someone who has frequently gotten inside the minds of the
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obamas, we know the president is someone who tends to defend his own and does not like throwing -- >> except when he throws them under the bus. >> in terms of staff shakeups, eric holder's head, tim geithner, he convinced them to stay on. >> he walked away from tom dashiell four years ago. >> and greg craig. >> and elizabeth warren. plenty of examples in both directions. the president has been loyal sometimes and sometimes cut his losses at others. >> susan rice is very close to the president. >> she is. the argument for susan rice has always been, as a matter of bureaucratic politic, she has always been someone who hs a personal relationship with the president, he likes her a lot, he feels like he knows her mind and powerful internal champions in the building. valerie jarrett loudest among them. someone like john kerry, not personally close to the president, not a champion in the building, she was always the person who had the inside track. this is a fight and to the point that hugo made, i think the
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republicans think this is a fight worth happening, not that she went out there -- forget what john mccain's personal invective, not that she spoke off the cuff but reading from talking points and their argument is those talks points were designed to mislead the american people. there's no question, i don't think there's anybody in the administration that think that period was well handled by the administration in terms of what it knew about what happened, how it conveyed it to the american people. it's been bubbling for weeks, it's true that they are going to personalize it on her. the question to alex, alex's question, at this point do you want to fight this battle and my guess is there's going to be at lot of whipping and the question is going to be, i think they will fight this bat physical they think they can win it. if they think they are going to lose it you might see susan rice quietly told you can be national security adviser when tom dolllin steps down, just as much power on foreign policy, closer to the president in some ways and might do a slightly different thing. if they think they're guaranteed
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to lose which it's not clear is true yet. >> note the irony of the party that -- when a previous woman named rice was national security adviser and became secretary of state, that relied on the cia to give the assessment they didn't understand that bin laden determined to attack inside the united states was an actual threat to national security, and that gentleman who doesn't think miss rice is very bright thought it wisdom to invade iraq when they had no weapons of mass destruction. >> well. >> also according to them, told to them by the cia. just wanted to note that. >> the last piece is, if rice doesn't get the secretary of state position, maybe kerry goes there, if she does, kerry in defense is not something i think a lot of folks maybe thought would happen and there's some question, governor, as to is john kerry, who's been eager to get out of the state for a while now, better served by staying in the senate in this particular moment in time, some people would make the case that look, he can be incredibly instrumental in this moment on things he's cared a long time about, climate change being one,
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should he stay there and not take defense. some have questioned whether he's qualified too head the defense sector. >> john kerry merits being secretary of state as does susan rice. something john has always wanted. i would leave the senate for that opportunity if i was john kerry. i don't think i would leave it for defense for all of the reasons you said. i think that's an important point to be made. >>s there's also the seat in massachusetts which is a huge political problem. the notion scott brown would be a frontrunner to replace kerry if he were to tep out of that seat. the democrats have a little more cushion but not a seat that democrats would want to put in jeopardy and that's a mark against kerry. you also have someone very good in the senate in jack reed from rhode island who a lot think would be a great defense secretary. they have options. again to go to chuck hagel, strong people out there for both these jobs. they will fill them well one way or the other. >> and one point, chuck hagel is, of course, ray lahood was a republican but i think ray is probably going to leave as well.
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chuck hagel would be a great appointment and he's best suited for defense. wouldn't you agree with that? >> i think that's probably right. >> if you have reached a consensus on it -- >> chuck it is. >> i have decided not to leave this position for secretary of defense. i hate to say it now, ahead of the actual -- >> who would be better to take on the military end strum stril complex than you. >> we have to go to break. president obama turns mitt romney's 47% problem into a 51% re-election but can the president turn a public mandate into a political one? we will ask new york magazine's jonathan chait next on "now." ♪ these are... [ male announcer ] marie callender's puts everything you've grown to love about sunday dinner into each of her pot pies.
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does barack obama now have a mandate? >> i don't think so because they also re-elected the house republicans. whether people intended or not, we've got divided government. >> you don't think there's a mandate here? >> i don't. because then they would have put nancy pelosi in charge of the house of representatives. see, i think these ideas that we talked about, i think they're popular ideas. this is a very close election. >> despite a scoreboard of 332 to 206, congressman paul ryan refuses to admit that president obama might have a mandate to push his agenda, a big part of which includes raising taxes on high earners. this week the president is holding court with ally and opponents to discuss the upcoming fiscal cliff. yesterday, at a meeting with progressive leaders the president said he would not give in to republican demands to extend all of the bush tax cuts. today he will meet with business
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leaders. the discussions underscore the president's opposing constituencies, but according to new york magazine's jonathan chaits the president has to do what he want -- joining us now from washington, "new york" magazine columnist by god jonathan chait. hello, my friend. >> thank you. >> jonathan, so the president met with progressive leaders yesterday and i think gave them some welcome news. how does he handle the meeting with the business leaders today some. >> i wasn't there. they didn't invite me. i'm not a business leader. >> you think he has a clear -- i won't say mandate but the wind in his sails on this issue of raising taxes on top earners which may not find favor among the business community. what do you think he can say to them? seems like he's trying to at least put together asemblance of
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a coalition to move the ball forward on this. >> right. if he wants to be blunt with them, the only real way they can get cuts in medicare and social security, which those people want very badly, is to have obama deliver it. republicans have never been able to deliver that unilaterally. what they need is to make a coalition with democrats willing to do some of that stuff if we raise taxes on the rich alongside it. the business strategy of trying to get all their way, low taxes on themselves and alls the pain of fiscal attrition on other people isn't going to fly politically. they need the democrats. if i was obama that was the message i would deliver. >> we talked about the relationship the president has with wall street and the business community, not one in the same, but similar in many ways in terms of their distaste for the president's policies of late. do you think there will be a thawing in this coming second term? >> it's hard for me to see it exa ktly. the truth is, i think if there's one lesson of the last four years it's basically how difficult it is to govern
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nationally when you have low or no growth. i think really the political tensions in the country are just too intense during times of sort of economic stagnation which is more or less what we had. i think the president's opportunity on the fiscal cliff issue is going to come from putting together a coalition the way john has described, but the longer term sort of performance for the white house is really going to be about whether the economy is truly bouncing back strongly or not. and if it is, then wall street will stop being upset at him. that the -- sorry. >> i was going to say, maybe part of it, "the wall street journal" argues today if they get a grand bargain then there's more certainty and the business community that is sitting on trillions of dollars in capital releases some of that hiring begins and so forth. >> not just that. the business community, there are rich people who don't want to see their taxes go up. if you go to people in business, and even on wall street, you talk to them about personal tax rates versus corporate tax rates and the business community, a lot of people would be willing
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to do -- would be perfectly happy to see individual rates in the business community if it was part of a big package that lowered corporate rates, one of the things that's what simpson-bowles was about and they were -- they would be fine with that and they are, i think, they're looking for if they -- they also want reassurance that tax reform piece which could include rates, rising on the rich, will also include big pieces of deficit reduction. that's what they care about. they want certainty, to be part of a big deal they feel like that's systemically deals with the long-term deficit thing. >> i think the wall street thing is a piece of that but somewhat separate too because i think what you -- what will be interesting to see with elizabeth warren in the senate what kind of like real teeth are put into the financial reform and that will really govern where wall street is on the president. >> it doesn't wipe away all the problems the president's going to have with business. if he leads on this and gets a
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deal along the line of sim southern bowles of what -- simpson-bowles and john talks about. i am co-chair with judd greg to fix the the debt, we've raised $35 million from businesses, over 200 businesses that have signed on our petition knowing full well that means raising significant risk new. business understands. the reason the president is meeting with them, he wants business to deliver that message to the republicans, we want this done and getting it done means raising revenue. >> listen, isn't the trick that rich folks and that businesses that are plutocrat friends are trying to pull, raise our personal income tax rate because most of them don't pay it. most pay their taxes through the capital gains tax. >> which is another piece. >> where they get to keep their 15% capital gains tax rate, lower their corporate rates which is how they pay their taxes. income tax rates don't matter because they will find shelters in the cayman islands. >> the only way it works to
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lower the corporate rates close a lot of those loopholes. >> that sounds on what mitt romney lost on. >> it's part of sim southern bowles. -- simpson-bowles. >> what dick durbin has signed off on. >> jonathan i want to go back to you, ezra klein has a good analysis in "the washington post" about what kind of game of hardball we're playing here. the president announced $1.6 trillion he wants to raise in new revenue more than you can feesbly as tim geithner put it raise than just closing loopholes. that is a reputation of what john boehner suggested in the days since the president has been re-elected. >> that's totally right. a key point, the simpson-bowles tax idea is kind of a magic pony, right. everyone agrees in the ab instruct, we can bring down the rates, close loopholes and deductions and raise revenue. if that's such a wonderful idea how come it's only come up now. how come no one has done it. the reason is because it's really, really hard politically. once you get into the specifics.
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if you're trying to tie all the revenue to this abstract tax reform idea you're going to get into a position where the revenue is about never going to happen because once you get into reality it doesn't materialize. >> you have to do both, john. you have to do -- you have to raise the the rates and close loopholes to get the amount -- >> just raise the rates. >> you can't raise the rates high enough to produce $1.6 trillion. >> you can get $900 billion from expiring the bush tax cuts. >> and where do you get the other $700 billion from from. >> do a little reform and cut the rates. >> everyone has agreed. we have to do both. >> jonathan chait and i would comprise the "new york" magazine caucus on this issue. there are two things that are absolutely true. paul ryan, he doesn't apparently want to admit rally or look at the exit polls. i understand it was an ugly day on november 6th. republicans don't like looking at the exit polls. not only did the president campaign on this more vociferously than anything else.
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you could claim a mandate on that basis. two-thirds of the country believes in raising rates. not only do you have him campaigning on it and winning on it, be you have at the exit polls. >> look at those numbers, 47% think there should be an increase only on income over 250 k higher earpers, 35% no increase for anyone, 13% for all. so add 47 plus 13 is 60. >> that's a 60% issue. that math is right on in the uny. >> and in florida they tried to float a 20% corporate income tax break, the republican dominated legislature put it on the ballot and the people in florida rejected that soundly. >> the second thing i'll say that jonathan is right and your point about this, i don't think it's a repudiation of what john boehner said, the president is learning thou negotiate. one of the things that the left has criticized the president for is with negotiating with himself. he starts at the number he wants to get rather than starting at a number that's a negotiating position which is what you're supposed do.
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he's not going to get $1.6 trillion. republicans have set the floor at 800. he's asked for 1.6. they'll end up at about 1.2 and that will be a pretty good number. >> progressives should be bullish? >> i think so. look, it's more than just a mandate. the mandate isn't really important. what's important is the leverage. what's important is that in the absence of a deal, obama not only gets all the revenue he wants, he gets way more than all the revenue he wants, right. he doesn't get the $1.6 trillion he's asking for. he gets $5 trillion starting january 1st. >> but he might get a recession, so it's like -- >> maybe. maybe. >> i don't think that's true. the fiscal cliff is a myth. >> it's a fiscal curve. what happens if you don't get anything done for an entire year starting january 1st. nothing magically bad happens to the economy on january 1st. >> right. >> all that revenue on january 1st either. >> let's just say -- >> but the legislative dynamic changes. the economic dynamic only changes very, very slowly but the legislative dynamic flips in
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obama's favor. >> thank you to our resident "now"ists new york magazine's jonathan chait and john heilemann. thank you for celebrating this one year with us. coming up, they haven't always been the closest of allies but there are a few things that president obama and progressives certainly agree on. might we see more love for the will ib brawl agren da in a second term? we will discuss just ahead. into their work, their name on the door, and their heart into their community. small business saturday is a day to show our support. a day to shop at stores owned by our friends and neighbors. and do our part for the businesses that do so much for us.
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on november 24th, let's get out and shop small.
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president obama reportedly lifted the spirits of progressive leaders during a bread-breaking session in the west wing yesterday. meanwhile another voice of reform was spotted in the vicinity. >> they were spotted exiting and
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entering the west wing. i was curious if they met with the president today or what they were here for? >> you witnessed the formation of a new band. bono and messina. >> what was the u2 frontman doing at the white house? we will reveal that and other meeting secrets next on "now." so, what hap pens if i'm in an accident and need to get my car fixed? progressive makes it easy, because we give you choices. you can pick where to get your car fixed, we can cut you a check, or, at our service center, we take care of everything for you. [ relaxing music playing ] [ chuckles ] -whew, so many choices. -take your time. -the service center. -okay. giving you choices -- now, that's progressive. call or click today.
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♪ boo! i am the ghost of meals past. when you don't use new pam, this is what you get. residue. [ female announcer ] bargain brand cooking spray leaves annoying residue. that's why there's new pam. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. progressives see the 2012 election as a major opportunity to do things, specifically on their terms. but according to "the huffington post's" sam stein liberals may want to hold off on popping the champagne just yet. quote --
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joining the panel now, daths rather host of access tv's "dan rather reports" one of the original guests on the first show when this tv program. >> congratulations. >> thank you, sir. >> in television, the first thing is to last and you, good woman, have lasted. >> for a year. >> one year. >> it is a pleasure to have you on set as it always is, dan. i guess we're looking forward in terms of what the president can and will do in the next four years. we know he met with progressive groups at the white house yesterday and we just did some dissection and analysis about what the implications are there for the fiscal cliff and a grand bargain. in terms of other priorities like, for example, immigration and climate change, be which are two priorities on the part of the progressive base, do you think the president will move forward with them, with the sort of vigor that he did not pursue them with in the first term?
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>> he has the opportunity do so. what the whole country is hoping for president obama, particularly his solid base, they want him to dare to be great. but as the governor knows that's easier said than done. one thing, stop talking about a mandate. i think president obama got considerable leverage with his election, but it was not a mandate. and what he faces, he has a decision to make. the democrats both in the house and particularly in the senate, have moved more to the left than they were before the election. the republicans are already pretty far right. that's one of the reasons they lost the election. there's pressure on president obama to deliver as his party in the congress moves to the left. now elections are won in the middle. president obama was considered the most middle course of the two candidates which is why he won. if he decides to govern from the middle and dares to be great, it will cost him some on his left. but it will be worth the price
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for the country. in terms of specifics you mentioned i think he can get progress on immigration. global warming, going to be a lot tougher. that's where he has to dare to be great. he has other decisions to make. this is the secretary of state, does he decide to fight for susan rice which everything in him wants to fight for. personal opinion. if he fights for susan rice it's going to cost him some of his leverage elsewhere. because there are any number of democrats not that fond of susan rice. >> that's also true. >> it will either cost him or depending on the outcome it may embolden him too. i think both the potential susan rice appointment if that happens and the fiscal cliff negotiations will set a tone for what the president can do on some of these other, you know, immigration and climate change. i think you're looking like you want to talk. >> that's true. and i think dan's analysis is right and you're right. but there's a caveat here. the president's got a tremendous
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amount of leverage on the tax issue because it was a central issue in the campaign. the exit polls show it, et cetera. talk about energy independence. there should be an american energy independence bill and, for example, the renewable industry desperately needs the extension of the production tax credit. if they don't get it they're dead. they literally are dead. they need that. we should be doing everything we can to promote renewables. we're not going to get that from the republicans in congress unless we give them the keystone pipeline. here's the environmental base -- >> forsaking -- >> hates the keystone pipeline but the reality of it is, that's the type of horse trading that has to go on when you don't have leverage that you have on -- you have leverage on immigration because 71/29. republicans can read the 71/29. >> it's not even leverage. >> i would be curious to know your thoughts on this. the president i think is really a centrist and i think -- i won't say has disdain for the
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ultraleft wing of the democratic party but is, you know -- will give up their priorities to make a grandeur bargain on a number of things. i think immigration will be a really interesting piece. i think that that's almost -- it's almost at this point baked in the cake because of the hemorrhaging among the latin population inside the republican party. >> far be it for me to disagree with the great dan rather. >> please. >> i know. i -- we just do that for fun. but, you know, in the last 200 years of history, seven men have been elected two times with more than 50% of the vote. in the last 100 years, only four, right. so eisenhower, fdr, ronald reagan and barack obama. i think the idea that barack obama does not have a historic mandate when 44 men have been president and seven did what he did in two terms, he got 69 million votes the first time, 62 million votes the second time, i think he has a mandate. the things to be done that are
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great in this election happened to fall on the progressive side, in part because the republican party and conservatism has gone so far right things that used to be centrist, like environmentalism, which was a teddy roosevelt thing which even richard nixon was in favor of. >> john mccain. >> newt gingrich. >> these things have been now reclassed as liberal, right. the victories that the president has a chance to get which are historic, like on climate change, on immigration, are now progressive ideas because they've been left behind. >> it's now almost up to the republican party to grab a piece of that pie to say this is our victory too when in reality if they had done it earlier -- >> let's don't get in debate about the mandate. you may be right. i'm often wrong. but with barack obama, it's not a very well kept secret in washington he hasn't courted the congress. he could do worse than read robert karros biography's of lin don johns. he doesn't have to like these
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people. having them over to the white house, he doesn't have to kiss up to them. he may say i would rather play pool with the devil than deal with the republican leadership, but i can give them grace points, invite the wives to the white house dinners, do things johnson did, say to the congressman pretty far right, you want that dam built in your district, i can get that dam built if you give me support on this bill. president obama has not had good relations with congress. he has a strong argument to say with this congress how could i have good relations. he can do better. that will be a measure whether he reaches greatness the his second term or just a caretaker term. >> and mr. rather, it is worth noting this week he is meeting with congressional leadership so that is a good sign in terms of warming relations or at least relations perhaps between the president and capitol hill and teed up the next block beautifully as a veteran newsman. coming up the gang is all there. nancy pelosi stays on as the house's top democrat, while the chamber's gop leadership remains
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it's official, nancy pelosi isn't going anywhere. the first female ever to lead a political party in congress announced a few hours ago she would respect the will of her caucus and return as house
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minority leader. >> my colleagues made it very clear, in fact i think they must have coordinated with each other, because their message was clear, don't even think of leaving. >> that's a mandate. pelosi and senate majority leader harry reid will be facing off against the same republican tandem from the 112th congress, house speak enboehner and mitch mcconnell. politico reports the two are engaged in good cop/bad cop. mcconnell up for re-election has been taking the hard line and boehner has been extending olive branches. boehner's aide has begun negotiating with his white house counterpart. can the speaker corral the same tea party members that gave him migraines in the last term of congress. according to boehner this won't be a problem because there isn't any tea party in congress. >> we don't have a tea party caucus to speak of in the house. all of us who were elected in 2010 were supported by the tea party. >> tea party? what tea party?
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some of its rowdiest members may have left, joe walsh booted out and allen west reluctantly on his way out, 60 of the tea party caucus still remains. the speaker may wish otherwise but the party ain't over just quite yet. mr. rather, can john boehner, i like the term herd cats in a wheel barrow in this one? >> if he's determined to do so, i think he can. the key here is mitch mcconnell in the senate. he's up for re-election in 2014. he is the key. both for president obama and for the house majority leader boehner. mitch mcconnell at least in public he tendses to look at president obama like a hitchhiker with pets or something. he doesn't want anything to do with him. if he continues to hold it, his first statement election night after president obama won, to
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say the least not very generous. >> not quite bipartisan. >> if mcconnell holds to that line, then big trouble for the obama agenda and for what boehner and others hoped to accomplish and big trouble for the country. some things you feel congress is so out of touch, i don't know how they could be after this election but, you know, there's out of date as these belt and slacks men used to wear. >> the metaphors are beautiful. >> belts and slacks. >> i love it. >> but i actually think there is a lot of truth there, which is they have the lowest approval rating historically. the obstructionism i don't think you can play it again for another two years. >> i think this is one where the members of the republican caucus in the senate have to let their leader go on his own. but mcconnell should be careful what he wishes for. right now he's worried about that tea party challenger on the right. well, ashley judd if she decides to run with her appearance and her youth against mitch
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mcconnell in a general election, i don't think that's such a slam dunk. >> that is a fascinating -- >> ashley judd card. >> if i were mitch mcconnell i'm not sure i would go that far to the right. looking at indiana, who thought mourdock was going to lose. >> especially if you start getting deals done. once the sort of initial -- once the first shoe has fallen i am of the mind they can't go back to digging their heels in. if boehner proves he can get this passed without the tea party holding him hostage it's a wrap. >> what dan was talking about earlier, seeing if the president has real sort of legislative interest and umf coming into the second term and play with congress and learn how do that well. the other thing what the administration has been talking about a lot sort of taking it to the american people, going into campaign mode, the governing of the next term and it will be interesting to see how fec thefe they are and how susceptible to that pressure mitch mcconnell is. >> isn't this a conversation for
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after january 3rd. up until then joe walsh and allen west and the gang are there. the incentives for them -- >> they are not going to lay down. >> they don't have any incentive to help john boehner and mitch mcconnell. they want to burn the thing down. >> scott brown sure does. >> well, yeah. >> play nice and then gets to be senator. >> if john kerry goes to defense or state. >> a progressive until -- >> but to your point, hugo. we have maintained, i think, through the last couple months of the election that the president kind of figured out during the payroll tax cut fight how to win this stuff, not negotiating initially behind closed doors but taking it to the american people. what he's doing right now -- >> you have to do both. >> absolutely. >> they will make a mistake if they just think they can -- >> steam roll. >> legislate this in front of a podium. >> meeting with business leaders today, progressive caucus, meeting with congressional leaders on friday but he knows that's not where it stops. the american people and the power of the bully pulpit is
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instrumental in getting anything passed. >> and i think one of the strongest messages sent by the electorate last tuesday is that they want things to get done. you know, that the people were voting for movement, for anything to happen on capitol hill. >> change. forward. all the slogans they ran on. we have to leave it there and we will all link arms in kumbaya after the cameras start rolling. thank you to joy reid, governor rendell. >> no enchiladas. >> this show is a met forecle enchila enchilada. dan rather and hugo lindh gren for helping us celebrate a full year on the year. i will see you tomorrow when i'm joined by bill richardson, howard wolfson, former bush adviser mark mckinnon, sam stein -- >> that's a very good panel, not quite as good as us. >> it never is. team obama money bunny bill burton, eric baits and laugh
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